The Sleeping Space Wolves

It has been really neat to have a few players from the Friday night Diaspora game contributing both Story Hour-ish micro-fic contributions and more Actual Play-inspired thoughts on how the mechanics are shaking out.  Here are the in-game ficlets so far:

Librarian’s Journal: Sun Washington (Judd’s librarian NPC and Judd wrote her journal entry)
Note: If you have somehow broken the encryption on this journal, you are breaking Archive Law. This is the private journal of an Archive-trained fully bonded Librarian and is thus classified. The journal’s purpose is for the librarian’s own reflection and critique on hir data-collecting techniques.

Archive Date: Jule 21, 3245 Astronaut’s Descent

The Valiance Corporation’s latest retrieval team has arrived to take the company’s latest data key back to Vestal. This team, on board a New Ovid-made scout class slipstream-capable ship, is different than other data retrieval teams. Their research patterns are different and team is made up of a mix of corporate administrators and former military personnel that must make for tense travels among the stars.

The Libertine is a handsome ship with a free-clone captain who reminds me of my own husband when I first met him, so confident concerning what he was told he was bred to do and so unsure of everything else. The crew was very excited to have the services of a Librarian and made good use of the Archive’s vast data. They have access at a high level, as the Valiance Corporation is a major sponsor, our security teams all wield custom-altered V.A. weapons.

My first duty was to discover what was the nature of the clones they had in their ship’s cargo hold. Apparently, the ship’s engineer, Anton Kilkenny, had won them in a card game in a Lodi oxygen mine. The clones turned out to be a lost cadre of special operations soldiers, bred in the highest quality factory-cathedrals of New Ovid.

The squad’s specialty was drifting at a satellite or a ship in orbit, making magnetic contact and then wreaking havoc. The Andrews series of clones are legendary. The Libertine had a full compliment of 30 in a state of the art stasis container attached to their ship.

Storn’s art  is always keen and he does a neat job of blending in-game fiction and out of game system thoughts:

Engineer Log: Lodi Archive docking (I wrote this part)
I think these logs are total waste of time. But to keep our corporate masters happy with the idea we actually read their memos and they read ours, here is my sad attempt.

One heat sink got stuck and would not rotating. Banging on the coupling seemed to do the trick.

Besides that, the Libertine is running very good for a 40+ year old ship.

Upon docking at Archive, met up with Safron Delaney, who is joining our intrepid crew. He is a decent guy for a suit. Picked up some Data Key for Valiance Arms.

VA payed for remarkable amount of access to The Archive. Capt Carter spent his time researching some Clone myths. Rojas helped me look into a decent place to unload the clones I won in that card game awhile back. They are still on ice. Good cargo parameters, their drain on ship’s power resources are well within reasonable tolerances.

Researched clones missing manifest, try to figure out what they were grown for. Didn’t find much, probably because it is New Ovid black market clones. Not much for the recording and such, these marketeers.

{out of character and for those who read these APs: This is a flat out lie. Clones turned out to be SpecOps, super troopers, spliced with wolf DNA to generate pack hierarchies. They were sold (or kept on ice and recently sold) some 20 years ago by Admiral Zafreet as the war was winding down and he went AWOL into “the Ink”. Not only he sold clones, he sold off his “black fleet” over the years. Substantial amounts of mothballed military tech he had dibs on. Our research revealed that Zafreet sits on the board of Valiance Arms and lives a comfortable retired life. He recently sold a military scout ship to VA… that ship turned out to be none other than our very own Libertine. After virtual interaction with the head clone, Col. Jubeska Andrews, they aren’t too happy about being sold down the river.

Jubeska requested placement into civilian life on Vestal, the home system of Valiance Arms. We all were a bit squicked about New Ovid SpecOps clones running around Vestal, probably trying to kill Zafreet. Rojas went behind my back and programmed himself to be the Alpha pack leader of the Star Wolves. He admitted his mistake and that is when Carter decided to take them to Binghamton. The thought of keeping them and having our own private army did occur to us… but just doesn’t seem right. I did end up changing one of my Aspects to “Heart of Gold” }

I think Capt Carter has decided to wake the clones up on Scranton or somewhere in the Binghamton system, so they can have their own lives and freedom and get them outta our hair. I have no problem with that. I don’t feel good making money on the souls of folks, even manufactured folks. You corporate sharks probably think I’m weak for not making a financial killing on this windfall. To that, I can only say; I’m not a suit.

{The game was a lot of fun, very philosophical as we totally debated for most of the short evening on what to do with these clones. Anthony’s Safron dug into our pasts using his best skill, science. He totally outrolled my Alertness, but I struggled for a bit as most of my secrets are social… he then suggested that “have I left DNA anywhere” and I got to thinking “maybe I have a kid somewhere out there?” And that clinched it. Anton has a 14 year old daughter named Andrea, who is looking for her dad and submitted a DNA report to match. Her mom, Talia Sackett, is/was a hard scrabble prospector/frontierwoman on Scranton and we had a brief affair 15 years ago. Anton doesn’t know…so it didn’t go into my engineer log, Saffron does and is going to try and find my daughter when we go to Binghamton system. Very cool. I’m considering swapping a Stunt out and taking Andrea so the Libertine might get a ‘cabin girl’ and I get a relationship with a spunky frontier adolescent… tie an Aspect on Andrea and knowing Judd, she will be a SERIOUS FATE pt generator.}

I wanted to jot down some thoughts on the clones:

To: New Novid High Cleric of Genetic Engineering
From: Abbot of Covert Military Factory-Cathedral Production
Status: Classified
Subject: Andrews Class Clone Soldier

The Andrews class is the next wave in clone soldier but needs to be utilized in very specific circumstances and then placed directly back into their cryo-pods for hibernation storage. The cryo-pods we have engineered for them have linked-in capabilities, allowing the officer in charge of a battalion of Andrews to talk to them while they are in hibernation and also allowing them to train as a battalion while sleeping, actually programming their muscle memory through their neural relays.

DNA take from Earth-original wolf packs have been spliced into the Andrews’ DNA, giving them a ferocious bonds with their series-mates. Using the wolf traits and the cryo-pod’s linked-in capabilities, we have combined these technologies allowing the officer in charge of them to wire hirself in as the battalion’s alpha. This alpha status is not license for the Andrews handler to be irresponsible. A wolf pack’s alpha can be removed.

The Andrews are a special breed of soldier. They are smart, independent and disdainful of weak leadership. In short, they are dangerous. Our AI projections see any group of them left outside of their cryo-pods in a slipstream-capable ship as real mutineering threats, especially with the skill-sets that the Admiral Kafreet is demanding of us for his Void Marines. Due to the admiral’s lack of faith in the ancient texts, it is our recommendation that a holy engineer be placed with the clones, allowing for scientific and spiritual guidance [Archive Librarian’s Note: The holy engineer was never noted on any of Kafreet’s ship’s manifests].

Technologically and religiously speaking, these clones are a huge step forward. They show how our genetic engineers are making real strides in incorporating all manner of genetic material into the new breeds. While we are still far behind the schematics in our holiest and most secret of biological texts, the messiah clones who piloted the FTL ships and allowed the first human astronauts to set foot in our holy land, we are making strides. Praise the helix and all its mysteries; the diaspora will end in our generation.

And J.C. jumped in and contributed a nice letter to his character’s fiancee:

A letter home…

My lady Min-

By the time this letter finds you, I expect you to be settled in my home on Vestal. I do not know when I shall see you again, exactly, as not only is this team constantly sent on missions by Valiance, we consistently find trouble on our own and timeliness does not seem to be one of our virtues. Perhaps I shall need to tell Valiance that for that very reason, courier works is not our forte in the future.

By the time you read these words, I believe this situation will have resolved itself, one way or the other. I freely acknowledge that in the guise of writing to you and keeping you informed, I am also outlining my own thoughts and perhaps a new method of handling the situation will come to me.

You of course remember Anton? He won that load of clones from your brother. I don’t know if you knew the background on these clones; I’d like to think you’d have told me if you did, or more ascribing a more selfish motive, your family would have demanded them returned. They are… perhaps I shouldn’t say explicitly, but they are dangerous, but potentially powerful. The others want them to be freed, and perhaps that is the right thing to do – I have very little opinion on the slavery of clones. But these particular clones, uncontrolled, is a thing I can not abide. They are to dangerous.

There is a control mechanism, and I used it. I had no right to do so as they are Anton’s property, although he doesn’t believe they are property so I find his use of that argument a bit hypocritical. I don’t particularly want or need control over these clones, except in my darkest desires, but I know they need to be controlled, and the only way I knew they’d be controlled is if I did this. It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission, in this regard, although it has not been particularly easy to gain forgiveness. Anton and I are not friends, nor are we the kind who would be friends, but I want a mutual respect, and I disrespected him by doing this, and lost what respect for him I had built up.

It was necessary.

Anton will not act against me directly, and he made a good point – if anyone on this ship has anything close to a right to control these clones, its Carter. Carter doesn’t want it, of course, and I knew that. He may wind up with it anyway. Or we may free them without a control. On a world where they lacked sufficient ability to strike against citizens, that might be allowable.

My new assistant, Saffron, is a capable fellow who so far has stood up to my abuse. I actually need to abuse him less; there’s a difference between professional detachment and criminal indifference.

I hope you are settling in well, and that access to my properties and accounts has been granted fairly easily. Valiance *should* be taking care of that. I know that the men and women on Vestal are not the company you are used to, but they may see you as a curiosity and try to make friends. Or they may make fun of you. It is my sincere hope that by the time I see you again, you’ll have made the former, and not taken the head off the latter.

Until then – Paul

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